Finally back to blogging

parkrun at the end of a long run with Teri

Apologies for my long absence from blogging – I’ve had a huge amount going on and I’ve also been unwell. This post is likely to be a little disjointed as there’s so much that I’ve not blogged about recently. I did consider trying to post several catch up posts, but figured I may as well get the whole thing done now!

Nutrition

My running coach, Ant from Run Camp set his runners a challenge called #Habitruary about developing healthy habits through February. I spent a lot of time thinking about what mine would be. I’m constantly battling my eating habits, so I should probably aim to eat healthy snacks if I’m going to snack. It would also be good if I could sort myself out to go to bed earlier so that I get more sleep. Both of those changes would help me to achieve the body that I want!

Great abs are made in the kitchen
Great abs are made in the kitchen

I’m also horrified that my weight has gone up to 11st 1lb (155lbs/70.3kg). That is almost as heavy as when I first joined Weight Watchers. I need to find a way to really motivate myself to eat well. I’m trying to make sure that I drink plenty of water at work and that I turn down hot chocolate when I am offered it, instead choosing green/jasmine/Earl Grey tea.

Swimming

You may recall that back in the summer, I went home to Cornwall and swam in the beautiful local lido (as well as competing in an aquathlon there):

Jubilee Pool

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It was great fun and the lido is in a stunning location. For a number of years, the lido has struggled with funding, but I thought things were starting to turn around as more people are becoming interested in outdoor swimming and I know the local tri club does some training here. Sadly, the recent storms have caused a significant amount of damage. The image below shows the start of the stormy weather.

Jubilee pool in storm

These are the latest pictures.

Jubilee Lido after the storms
Jubilee Lido after the storms

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The amount of damage is absolutely devastating. I sincerely hope that they raise enough money to repair the lido for future generations to enjoy it.

Cycling

I’ve done a couple of training sessions with Steve Cooke from Southampton Tri Club, which has been hugely helpful. I’m still very nervous about cycling downhill as I’m terrified that I’ll fall and be unable to unclip and will scrape my limbs. That might not sound bad to most people, but the sight of my own blood makes me freak out, (and possibly faint) so it would be terrible in a race. The good news is that as well as learning some basic cycle maintenance, I now fully understand how gears work, which is a big step forward. I also found that I’m not as bad as cycling up hills as I thought I was… although I’m still afraid of getting out of the saddle.

I had a bit of an adventure getting to work one day last week, which involved carrying my bike over two fallen trees and through the mud. It wasn’t easy and then after I got back on my bike, I found that I had a flat tyre. I managed to take the back wheel off and I tried to find the puncture, but couldn’t (I still haven’t found it!) The issue was that I couldn’t get the tyre back on. I tried and tried, but in the end, I had to phone Stu for assistance, so that’s something that I need to learn to do.

Still under the cycling heading, I read this recently: Faster cyclists are more attractive: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26034659

Running

My running has had some real ups and downs over the last month and my goal of getting a PB at Brighton Marathon seems to be slipping further and further from my grasp. I’m feeling really disappointed about this, but I have to be honest with myself about the struggles I’ve had in the past month with emotional family issues, working long hours and illness. Hopefully, the next two months will be better.

I have enjoyed a number of long runs recently with Teri (who is training for London Marathon).

parkrun at the end of a long run with Teri
parkrun at the end of a long run with Teri ยฉ Emily Smith

At the weekend, I completed Bramley 20 mile race. I struggled with overheating fairly early in the race (despite the temperature being quite cool), which meant that I finished in 3:30. That is nearly 30 minutes slower than I was hoping to take for Bramley 20. Maybe I need to be more realistic, but I’m finding it tough accepting that I’m so far off form at the moment.

A month late, I’ve signed up to ‘Run This Year 2014’: http://runninghutch.com/runthisyear/

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Finally, here’ s a bit of motivation that perhaps I need to believe in!

Ten commandments for the runner
Ten commandments for the runner

I’m going to finish there for today. If I don’t start posting regularly again soon then it won’t ever happen!

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